[Owasp-leaders] Speakers at Appsec conferences

Tobias tobias.gondrom at owasp.org
Thu Sep 11 21:38:47 UTC 2014


in my experience, to some degree this has in the past not been up to the 
team planning the conference.
We have referred back to general OWASP practice to in general not pay 
speaker hotel/travel (except for keynote speakers). So one outcome of 
this discussion could be to explicitly make this the choice of the 
conference organising chapter team.


On 11/09/14 22:20, Josh Sokol wrote:
> Historically, this has been a decision that has been left up to the 
> team planning the conference.  I know with AppSecUSA 2012, there were 
> a few speakers that we really wanted to get to the conference and they 
> couldn't pay their way so we helped them with expenses.  We do the 
> same for LASCON if we really want someone and circumstances merit it.  
> But, like Michael alluded to, this is an expense that should become 
> part of the conference planning budget and we need to figure out how 
> to offset it.  Personally, I would hesitate to compare any of OWASP's 
> relatively small conferences to BlackHat (5,000 attendees) or Defcon 
> (15,000 attendees).  Not even in the same ballpark.  And when you 
> factor in that a ticket to BlackHat averages out somewhere around 
> $2000 per person, well, we're not even in the same city where revenue 
> is concerned.  My gut says to leave these decisions up to the local 
> planning teams, but not make a habit out of it.
> ~josh
> On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 4:08 PM, Azeddine Islam Mennouchi 
> <azeddine.mennouchi at owasp.org <mailto:azeddine.mennouchi at owasp.org>> 
> wrote:
>     Hello,
>     sure :D you were great in Math Michael :D
>     I think Stev. has a point almost all the confs. pay a part of the
>     expenses (if not full expenses)
>     Not all companies have the same policy not all people get
>     sponsored by there companies
>     Sponsoring some people would be great I think
>     Regards Islam,
>     On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:54 PM, Michael Coates
>     <michael.coates at owasp.org <mailto:michael.coates at owasp.org>> wrote:
>         Steven,
>         Hope all is well and it will be great to catch up in Denver.
>         I always enjoy new ideas and discussion. I have a few
>         questions about your idea.
>         1. Do we have any indication that quality speakers aren't
>         applying because travel / hotel is not covered?
>         2. Do you think the quality of speakers would increase if
>         travel costs were covered?
>         3. How many of the speakers do you think are paying for their
>         travel out of pocket versus having it covered as a business
>         expense?
>         4. Would you support an increase in ticket prices to cover the
>         costs of speakers? If not, where would you suggest the costs
>         be covered?
>         A bit of cost planning:
>         AppSecUSA has 79 people listed on the speakers tab.  Let's
>         assume travel as $900 per person ($500 airfare + 2 nights
>         hotel at $200 night). That comes out to $71,000.
>         Cost increase per attendee:
>         500 attendees +$142 per ticket
>         1000 attendees +$71 per ticket
>         --
>         Michael Coates
>         Chairman, OWASP Board
>         @_mwc
>         On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 1:11 PM, Steven van der Baan
>         <steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org
>         <mailto:steven.van.der.baan at owasp.org>> wrote:
>             hi Leaders,
>             I've got a question for you all and it is regarding
>             speakers at Appsec
>             conferences.
>             I am of the opinion that we should cover expenses for
>             speakers that are
>             presenting at Appsec conferences. At the moment this is
>             not the case and
>             I truly believe that this is wrong. I think that if OWASP
>             wants the
>             AppSec conferences to grow in size, we should also give
>             the speakers
>             more than just an entrance ticket. I would like to see
>             that also some of
>             the expenses are covered. This is currently only done for
>             the keynote
>             speakers. I agree that the keynote speakers should be
>             handled more
>             special, but they are only the 'cherry on the cake'. It's
>             the speakers
>             that 'make the cake' and without good speakers you will
>             have a lousy cake.
>             I know that conferences like HitB and BlackHat/Defcon
>             provide hotel
>             expenses next to the entrance fee (with BH and Defcon you
>             can choose
>             between more badges or money). And they do get a large
>             number of
>             attendees, especially due to the numbers and quality of
>             their speakers.
>             This is what I would like to see with the OWASP Appsec
>             conferences as
>             well. Being known for outstanding speakers and at the same
>             time
>             attracting more attendees. Reflecting back at taking part
>             in organising
>             Appsec EU 2014, the attendee numbers where really low for
>             a long time
>             (below 100 up to two weeks before the conference). Thought
>             it did pick
>             up in the last two weeks, i firmly believe that these
>             numbers could
>             easily have been doubled if we take more care of our speakers.
>             I know that I have a personal stake in this as I'm one of
>             the speakers
>             at Appsec USA. But it should not only be an honour to
>             speak at an OWASP
>             conference, we as OWASP should actively support this
>             knowledge sharing
>             by stimulating speakers and meet them with their expenses
>             and take care
>             of the hotel for them. I am aware that in the current
>             model the Appsec
>             conferences are used to generate revenue for the
>             foundation, but I am a
>             firm believer that you first have to spend money to make
>             money: to
>             invest into the speakers, which in turn will attract more
>             attendees and
>             therefore generate more income.
>             Below are two tweets that I quickly found searching online
>             about this.
>             These tweets are from non OWASP members
>             https://twitter.com/MatiasKatz/status/323490014136791041
>             https://twitter.com/notsosecure/status/478912487182827520
>             I'd love to see this change happen.
>             Steven.
>             _______________________________________________
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>     -- 
>     Islam Azeddine Mennouchi
>     Consultant at ITS
>     http://www.infotoolssolutions.dz/
>     OWASP ALGERIA Chapter Leader
>     phone n°: +213658227651 <tel:%2B213658227651>
>     _______________________________________________
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>     OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org <mailto:OWASP-Leaders at lists.owasp.org>
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